Night Light | So... I Tried Pinterest

Are we Sleeping on Pinterest?

Every once in a while, I like to revisit social media apps to see how they’re doing. It seems to me that Pinterest has been doing a lot better than I thought in the past year. I don’t use it, but I know plenty of people who do. This week, I figured we’d dive back into Pinterest to explore how it compares to other social media platforms, how creators are using it, and why I think it will play a big role in Gen Z’s shopping habits.

Pinterest by the Numbers

I was surprised to see that Pinterest is right behind Snapchat (more on that in a future Night Light) with 520 million monthly active users. It’s not the most popular platform, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of engaged users on it.

Source: Semrush, Similarweb (May 2024)

Pinterest monthly active users (MAUs) grew more than 12% year-over-year in Q1 2024 globally, the highest growth since 2021. Historically, Pinterest skews female (70%), but what really caught my attention is how quickly Gen Z has grown on the platform in the last year.

How are creators using Pinterest in 2024?

1️⃣ Affiliate links: I’m seeing a lot of fashion influencers doing well here. They wear the product, link to purchase the product, and earn a commission. It looks like on the higher end creators are seeing $3-5K.

2️⃣ Growing their YouTube/TikTok: Creators are putting links on their pins to drive viewers to their YouTube channel. I’ve also seen accounts dedicated to selling on Pinterest.

3️⃣ Driving to blogs and newsletters: I actually found a few accounts that had an accompanying blog or newsletter linked on their posts.

What does it mean for online shopping?

From the words of Bill Ready (CEO of Pinterest) “Pinterest is where Gen Z goes to shop”. Users spend more than 25% of their time shopping on the app. If I were a fashion, cosmetic/beauty, or lifestyle brand, I would see Pinterest as an incredibly important place to sell my product.

It seems like everyone is advertising on Pinterest.

Retailers are also turning to the platform to advertise products. Pinterest now has Amazon integrations, and I only had to scroll a few times to find Target, Coach, Nespresso, and even McDonald’s.

Some of Pinterest’s shopping features are actually some of the most interesting I’ve seen for online shopping:

  • You can screenshot an image and search it on Pinterest.

  • “Shop Similar” makes it easy to find products that appear in posts.

  • This feature that allows users to find inspiration or products that will appear on specific skin tones

The Big Takeaway:

Do I think we’re sleeping on Pinterest? Not exactly, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t becoming a popular shopping app for Gen Z. If I were a fashion, cosmetic, or beauty brand, I’d definitely consider using Pinterest to reach a younger audience. Pinterest has some of the best online shopping features, and I wouldn’t be surprised if TikTok Shop or Instagram tests some of them in the future. While it may not be among the top 10 most used social media platforms, I also don’t see it falling off anytime soon.

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